But before he had that body, he was just another doughy college sophomore wondering where the extra 50 pounds had come from.
"I had my mirror moment, just like a lot of people do," Shaun says. "But I'm so thankful to that guy in the mirror, because he made the decisions that got me where I am today. I love that guy."
Now, he's putting everything he's learned down on paper in the upcoming book T Is For Transformation, which will be published in fall 2017 by Rodale, the parent company for Men's Health.
The key, according to Shaun: Accepting that guy in the mirror, understanding how he got that way, and helping him take the steps that will improve his life. No need to shame him; better to really, finally, understand him.
In the end, fitness is not about what's going on in the gym, or even on your dinner plate. It's about what's happening between your ears.
Want to look better on the outside? Shape up what's on the inside.
At a recent "Shaun T Live" event in Indianapolis–where he led 1,000 people through a 45-minute sweat storm–he also fielded questions from the crowd. Four questions in particular spoke to the mental approach that makes his physical body possible.
1. Do you ever get into a funk?
Shaun T: "Sure I do. I ask myself: Why am I in a funk? Is it external or internal? Then I attack the person or project I'm in a funk over. Be the antibiotic for your own life. Attack the invader!"
2. How do you handle personal or emotional pain?
Shaun T: "There are two ways you can go: You can let it fester, or you can step out of it and go through the struggle.
"You gotta cry. Go across the bridge of emotion. It's terrible to go through. You didn't ask for that pain. But you leave your mark on that bridge. You made it to that point and now you can move on.
"When you struggle, you do the work and you get the reward. If you don't have any struggles, it's time to get out of the daisy field."
3. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to overcome?
Shaun T: "The hardest thing I had to overcome was being molested from age 8 to 12. I felt like I had to hold the secret to protect my family. But then I made up my mind: I will not be a victim.
"So I left my home at age 14 and moved in with my grandparents. I make it sound easy now, but I was in therapy for 6 years to deal with that.
"I know now that it had to happen, because it did happen. I accept it.
"Everybody struggles. It's what you do with the struggle. Negativity is a bubble. When you burst that bubble, you have to let the negative energy push you away from it as far as you can go."
4. "I check the scale every day, and I hate it when I go up a few pounds. Will this ever stop?
Shaun T: "Where is your 'now'?
"Wean yourself off the scale, because you need to accept where you are right now. You're already at your destination, and you need to be happy with that.
"The person you were when you weighed 90 pounds more was amazing, because that person started your journey. Love that person.
"When people look in the mirror they go to things they don't want to see. Instead, go to what you want to see. Go to who you are right now!
"A lot of time people will say to me: 'Shaun T, you turned my life around.' I always answer the same way: 'No, you turned your own life around.'"
More: 10 Guys Share the Life-Changing Tips That Helped Them Finally Lose Weight
They're good messages, in support of a great mission. Appropriately, Shaun's upcoming book, T Is For Transformation, is all about body-mind breakthroughs.
It combines the full—at times painful—story of Shaun's own breakthrough with exercises that can help you build physical and mental strength to write your own happy endings.
"The most important lesson I've ever learned is that you can't build or maintain physical strength unless you have the emotional kind," Shaun says. "I'm on a mission right now to help people build both."
So ask yourself: How strong are you inside? The answer will tell you things the mirror never can.
The article Shaun T Reveals the One Lesson That Helped Him Lose 50 Pounds and Become a Fitness Mogul originally ran on MensHealth.com
This spicy variation on a traditional holiday cookie comes with a bonus coloring page. Download the page and add make your holidays more colorful.
Chai Gingerbread Cookies
Makes 18 to 24 cookies
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1 large egg white
- 2 tablespoons water
- Food coloring of choice
1. To make the cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the butter and brown sugar. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat the mixture until creamy. Add the egg yolk, honey, and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough until it’s 1⁄8" thick. Stamp out cookies using any cookie cutter you like. Transfer to the baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown. Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet. Recombine the scraps and repeat the process with the remaining dough.
4. To make the royal icing: In a large bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, egg white, and water. With the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, beat on high for 5 minutes, or until thickened and glossy. Add your desired food coloring and mix to combine. Transfer to a piping bag and decorate the cookies however you like!
Serve this warm beverage on a cold night to keep your guests extra cozy. You can enjoy a moment of calm while it simmers by coloring this page.
Makes 4 servings
- 750 milliliters sour beer
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 orange, sliced
- 4 star anise
- 8 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
In a medium pot over medium heat, bring the beer, sugar, orange slices, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon to a simmer. Turn the heat off and cover the pot. Steep the beer for 10 minutes. Right before serving, warm it back up and then ladle into mugs.
You made it to the gym and you're hyped. You're just about to jump on the treadmill when you see another gym-goer hop on the machine next to you. Their perfectly chiseled abs catch your attention and you become deflated. Creeping self doubt paralyzes your ability to start your workout. You make a quick turn and off the treadmill you go.
It doesn't take much to doubt yourself, but Danielle Brooks, star of Orange Is the New Black is spreading a powerful message on body image and self-acceptance on Instagram. In her viral video, Danielle opens up about a moment that left her feeling insecure and the importance of maintaining a healthy body image.
All was fine and dandy at the gym as Danielle was sweating it out. Shirt off, her endorphins were high and her confidence was higher. She was feeling great until another shirtless woman with an enviable physic walked up beside her. Imminently Danielle lost her confidence and felt ashamed about how she looked.
“So I realized, I’m comparing myself to this woman,” Danielle said. “And I’m like, why just two minutes ago I was feeling great and now I’m not? And I realized the reason I was feeling so great is because I was comparing myself to yesterday’s Danielle. And today’s Danielle is better than yesterday’s. And that’s why I felt so good.”
Danielle’s breakthrough moment inspires us to check in with ourselves and to give ourselves some much-needed love. It’s time to start spreading positivity and acceptance. Focus on yourself, your body and your achievements. “So ladies, I’m just saying, don’t compare yourself to nobody." Danielle said. "Just be a better you."
Check out Danielle's inspirational video below:
A video posted by Danielle Brooks (@daniebb3) on Nov 27, 2016 at 9:06am PST